The celebration of the birth of our nation on Independence Day often involves fireworks, backyard barbecues, boating, beaches and other outdoor fun. Although gatherings will be smaller and hopefully following social distancing guidelines, there are lots of reasons to celebrate despite the challenges of COVID-19, Whether it's July 4th or any other summer celebration, here are a few tips for keeping safe while you're having fun.
keep kids safe
Make sure children are supervised while celebrating outside during the holiday. Whether it’s in the pool, on the beach or just the backyard, it takes just moments for kids (especially small ones) to get into trouble. Watch for choking hazards with small toys or other items. Never leave a child unsupervised near a body of water. Lifeguards aren't babysitters. If you are at a pool follow pool safety rules. Turning your back for just a moment could result in tragedy. Know how to recognize signs of drowning.
Grilling is a great way to bring family and friends together, but be sure to follow grilling safety guidelines. Be sure you clean and safety check your gas or charcoal grill before using it, and don’t leave it unattended. Grill-related incidents cause millions of dollars of damage. Also, follow safe food preparation protocols to ensure that no one gets sick.
If you have alcoholic beverages, know your limits and be responsible. Accidents can happen more easily when under the influence. Have a designated driver to make sure you and/or your guests get home safely from your July 4th celebration whether it’s at your home or elsewhere. Don’t drink and drive!
leave fireworks to the professionals
Massachusetts law prohibits private citizens from using, selling, or possessing fireworks. This includes fireworks purchased legally elsewhere and then transported into the state. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, most large gatherings including annual parades and fireworks displays are cancelled through the end of summer. It will simply make it all the more enjoyable when we can gather again and celebrate safely.
Drink plenty of water and fluids while out in the hot sun to avoid dehydration and other heat sickness. Consuming alcohol in the sun can cause dehydration, so be sure to drink water along with your adult beverages. Keep an eye on children, the elderly and pets, who are all more at risk of heat stroke. Take breaks in the shade when possible.
On the beach, backyard or park, use sunscreen to protect yourself and children from sunburns and potentially skin cancer. Protective clothing, sunglasses and sunscreen make a huge difference. For very young children, talk to your doctor about appropriate products.
follow safe boating practices
If your celebration involves being on the water, review safe boating practices. If it’s your boat, be sure that you review safety practices with guests before you set sail, and that there are enough appropriate life jackets for everyone. Be sure to follow state boating laws and travel at safe speeds. Don’t drink and drive applies to boats, too.